King Parrot do not fuck around. A quick drum fill, a few stabbed guitar chords of an intro and we are into the full-on no fucks given, no quarter asked nor given, modern crossover thrash violence of minute and a half like opening track ‘Anthem of the Advanced Sinner’, a song with a mid-section chug that recalls the classic head-snap of ‘Raining Blood’.
Mention thrash and people think of a creatively limited genre, mention crossover and people think of retro, mention a combination of the two and we tend to think we’ve heard it before. King Parrot couldn’t give a shit what you think you’ve heard before; born with more than enough middle fingers and ‘tood in fucking truckloads, they parade and stamp jagged anthems like broken glass into your ugly face. This is no quickstep of obvious moves, ‘Need No Saviour’ could be Exodus covering Morbid Angel, before lurching into The Great Southern Trendkill (EastWest) silt and swamp stomp, while ‘Reject’ swills punk around their mouth, before spraying out venom.
Thrash and hardcore are, to this King, to coin a phrase, just the beginning.
Matthew Young spits and tantrums all over the album, like a wound-up “Blitz” Ellsworth having been given a cheeky slap while three sheets to the wind and denied the chance to exact revenge, stomping around destroying the bar while mosh anthem after fight song barrel from the speakers.
Don’t think, though, this is an uneducated rageathon. Dead Set (Housecore) is focused and scripted, Ari White and Andrew Livingstone-Squires ripping choice cuts of classic Death Metal Massacre and Schuldiner riffs and thrashing them up, with Young switching up his yelp with a kidney-punch growl in the grinding menace of ‘Home Is Where The Gutter Is’, while ‘Sick In The Head’ is Bay Area at its most feral meets Sick Of It All.
Ultimately success in this type of arena still relies on songwriting, riffs people want to hear again and an X-Factor of energy and conviction, all of which the Parrot deliver in spades. There is defined Hannemann/King influence in the spiky riffing, but King Parrot bring their own grime to leave their own indelible mark over one of the most refreshing, visceral, unhinged-yet-concentrated and memorable hits from the underground and below this year.